William J. Thomson photograph collection of Easter Island Rongorongo boards, circa 1880-1890

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.PhotoLot.75-13
Creators:
Thomson, William J. (William Judah), 1841-1909
Dates:
circa 1880-1890
Languages:
Undetermined
.
Physical Description:
7 Drawings
15 Prints
albumen
Repository:

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
Photographs depicting Rongorongo "boards," wooden objects incised with glyphs that originated on Easter Island. The boards shown include the Oar, Keiti, Aruku Kerenga, Mamari, Echancree, Small Santiago, and Large Santiago. The material was probably collected by William J. Thomson for his report "Te Pito Te Henua, or Easter Island."

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
William J. Thomson (1841-1909) was the United States Navy paymaster on the USS Mohican expedition to Easter Island in 1886. The expedition's purposes included archeological surveying and excavation, the creation of geographical charts, and ethnographic research. Two moai (Easter Island stone figures), Rongorongo boards, and a variety of other artifacts for the Smithsonian Institution were collected during the trip.

Local Call Number(s)
Local Call Number(s)
NAA Photo Lot 75-13

Bibliography
Bibliography
Drawings and photographs published in "Te Pito Te Henua, or Easter Island," USNM Annual Report, 1888-'89, pg. 447-552.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use note
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Preferred Citation note
Photo lot 75-13, William J. Thomson photograph collection of Easter Island Rongorongo boards, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Location of Other Archival Materials
Location of Other Archival Materials
Photographs of Easter Island by Thomson can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 97.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Easter Island specimens donated by Thomson, including original Rongorongo boards and casts of others, can be found in the Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution, in accessions 020078 and 023098.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Additional photographs of the USS Mohican expedition can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 76-26.

Custodial History note
Custodial History note
These photographs were found in the anthropology processing lab and transferred to the NAA in 1975.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Rongorongo boards -- Easter Island Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rongorongo script Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Easter Island Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mohican Expedition Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland 20746
naa@si.edu
http://www.anthropology.si.edu/naa/